This week, we came across a news item from a local NBC station about a couple deciding to purchase a vehicle service contract when their factory warranty was up, because they wanted to ensure they were protected if something went wrong.

So far, so good.

Then, the story goes on to note, the couple’s vehicle needed repairs, so they took it to the shop. Believing it was all covered, and feeling good about the smart decision they had made, they were surprised to return to a huge bill to pay.

Unfortunately, the claim was denied because the specific part that needed repair was excluded from coverage in the fine print. The couple exercised their right to cancel the coverage at any time, but were out half the original fees, plus the out-of-pocket repair expenses.

Not surprisingly, this negative experience will be the one they remember, and the one they tell their friends and family. And since this story was picked up by their local news, now an entire viewing area is going to be wary of vehicle service contracts.

All because one provider was more interested in finding a reason to deny one claim.

It is experiences like this one that tarnish the reputation of the automotive aftermarket sector. When people spend money on F&I products of any kind, only to then have their claim denied when they need it most, they will naturally be biased against these products the next time they buy a vehicle. And to be honest, can we really blame them for that attitude when they’ve been burned?

This is the reason RoadVantage is so passionate about our exclusionary coverage, which directly shapes our approach to claims adjudication. We set out to do it differently because we want to stop this cycle of distrust. So, we started by reviewing our contracts and removing the exclusions that commonly cause claims headaches. Simple, right? That one step goes a remarkably long way, because customers can now be assured they have the coverage they think they have. It also makes our claims adjudication process much easier, and explains why 97{137f86425451f0eed4391b215cab1f0aedcc26ced4aeb45d9a5267c3194b8614} of our claims are approved within 8 minutes.

Our mission is to deliver what we promise, so we need customers to walk away feeling satisfied — with the experience, with the product, and with the dealer they purchased it from. Those are the customers who buy new contracts when they get a new car, and who are more open to hearing about additional coverages the next time around.

We sell F&I products with a promise that when the inevitable shopping cart, or key gets lost, or tire gets punctured, the consumer won’t have to pay out of pocket because they are making the smart choice to invest in protection ahead of time. As an industry, we can use this couple’s unfortunate experience as a learning tool: At the end of the day, would we rather deny one claim, and lose out on immeasurable new business down the road, or reinforce their smart decision to buy coverage, take care of a customer’s needs and make them lifelong customers? It all begins – and ends – with the contract and the customer experience during the claims handling.

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This post was written by: Garret Lacour, CEO RoadVantage

Published: April 19, 2017

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